Last week, I had a really invigorating chat with a website developer friend from Serbia. We talked about the increased use of cellular devices, and how narrow screens (currently) affect sidebar wrapping of content on websites, resulting in contorted images for the most part. And, naturally, how this will likely hold true for a mere year or two longer, when full HD screens become the norm on mobiles, as versus the exception.
We discussed many things. It was very enlightening for me.
For instance, I had no idea trends existed where blog designs were concerned. Or that blogs with the highest traffic typically go through revamps on an annual basis. Did you know? I was certainly in the dark. Though, if you pause and ponder, it certainly makes sense. Blogs are, in essence, storefronts. Window displays, if you like, and those in the shopping strips get changed periodically, don’t they? To attract our attention, lure us in, to while away time and (hopefully) money.
Isn’t it the same with blogs? We want readers to visit (often) and stay, not click and go. We want to catch the eyes of brands and agencies, entice them to go through our online presence, review and assess what we’ve put out there, and not find it lacking. Sub-par. Or worse, a bore.
So yes, it does make perfect sense.
display homepage is like honey. Sticky. Alluring. Interesting.
HOW IMPORTANT IS DESIGN TO THE SUCCESS OF A BLOG?
Interestingly enough, a survey undertaken by Forbes.com revealed that design elements are exponentially more powerful than content, in terms of mistrust. When asked to describe why they mistrusted a website, 94 percent of comments were directly related to web design elements, while only 6 percent referenced specific content. I’m intrigued.
And the key factor participants highlighted when mistrusting a website?
While content is (and will always be) king, design matters. Very much.
So what makes a design, good? Obviously, if you ask several designers for their definition of a good design, it’s highly likely they’ll each provide you with a different answer.
However, peer closer at some of the world’s most recognisable products/brands, and chances are you’ll detect similarities and parallels between them. Why, you ask? Well, while there are different schools of thought and a myriad of approaches to design (as it should be, variety is, after all, the spice of life), note that the best well-designed things are based on legendary designer Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles for Good Design.
Design principles which result in useful, beautiful products that ultimately give consumers a deep level of satisfaction and enjoyment when used. Tangible as well as non tangible. That translate into far more than eye-catching visuals. Or sensible, intuitive navigation. Or content with substance. It’s a delicate blend of all these components put together. Some of my personal faves include Dropbox, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, IBM, TLV Birdie, Wendy’s LookBook, Project Inspo and The Chriselle Factor (#fangirling), to name but a few.
MOST BLOGS DIE BECAUSE READERS ARE BORED, TURNED OFF
It’s also about constantly changing, being unexpected. A little treat each time that same reader visits your blog. For instance, scrolling headers or mastheads. Some crafting blogs offer different downloadables each week, cooking blogs serve up free recipes. Or pop-up messages (be careful with these though, there’s nothing more annoying than an incessant bug on your screen that just won’t go away). I personally have a great fondness for sites that offer practical tips like this one.
Oh, and there’s also video clips. They inject an element of drama quite effortlessly.
Do you feel the same? That constant change is pivotal to a blog’s survival?
p/s photos by Sofia Touassa
I link up here.
That outfit is great, and I was floored by your location choice. I also believe that the key to success on a blog is constant change, within reason. Naturally, you’ll evolve as you put yourself out there but instead of drastically changing a blog every month, evolve but stay true to the core of your blog’s message.
I don’t know Sheela—I mean, I understand the theory behind what you’re talking about, but sometimes I think there’s much more than just the design. I think it’s the feel of the person behind the blog and some loyalty factor. Of course, I’m a strange bird, so maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this.
and the conspirator theorist in me would say that the designers tell you this because they want you to pay them to redesign the site?
ps…love that vest….where did you get it?
I do wonder about this but I also find that those largely “successful” highly branded blogs are void of personality. Yes they are clean, yes they are high tech and yes they leave me cold. I might go quickly if they have some valuable content but am I sticking around? No.
Overwhelmingly I find big blogs and websites more difficult to navigate. I hate pop-ups and I cannot stand only massive images on the first page that go through a slide show without a menu so if I miss the post I want to see I need to click through to another one and then try to locate what I was looking for. Massive pet peeve of mine.
I think the issue with design is that in the end it is still very subjective. We all have different tastes and aren’t all seeking the same thing.
I also think that changing the image on a website or blog too often will cause confusion. Yes, every few years it should be tweaked and upgraded, but changing too often will lead people wondering where they are.
In the end I find I become board with someone because they just repeat the same thing over and over. Unless someone has a fresh take on something, has something valuable to teach me, can make me laugh or I feel a personal connection with them I will eventually lose interest.
Probably another reason so many style bloggers don’t repeat outfits is because they want to always appear different and show something new.
When I look at a blog or a website, I want information about the blog or website and about the person(s) behind it. All the content in the world isn’t going to instill confidence or make me a loyal reader if I can’t find out anything about who behind it. And what to be able to easily find previous posts and other content. I’m not often fond of change because ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but I do appreciate fresh photos and graphics.
And, of course, you look fantastic as usual.
I don’t think a blog needs to change up its looks for survival per se, but a change could certainly benefit some bloggers. I really don’t think it’s applicable to ALL bloggers though, certainly not! With some bloggers, I suspect that with the goal of setting themselves apart from everyone else, some tend to overthink and go so far beyond outside the box when it comes to design that I feel a part of their blogger identity got lost amidst the changes.
That being said, I generally like it when my favourite bloggers revamp their site’s look! It’s a natural progression for some, just like how our taste in fashion evolves over time. It always takes time for readers to adjust to the new look, though, but if the essence of that blogger is present, readers won’t have problem sticking around, I believe!
Are you planning to have change things up around here? Your current blog’s layout looks so great and clean already! But of course, it’s always exciting to experiment!
Liyana | Affordorable
When I worked at the womenswear store, we changed our windowdisplay every two weeks , because if it stayed the same to long people wheren’t interrested to go inside anymore. I never thought about it that way about my blog. But I don’t want to change my layout. I finally found the one that fits me and i think a blog has to be reconazable, as the posts are different already.
Fancy Friday linkup tomorrow!
Those python print pants are so cool. I really like the color palette you chose for this look. Also that wall is a fabulous background.
In the two years I have blogged, I have had three blog designs. My current one is my favorite. I love the layout and the ability to switch out photos to keep things fresh without a major overhaul. I enjoy how you incorporate different style elements to your posts with fonts, boxes, etc. and it encourages me to try new things. I really enjoyed the videos you shared on this post, particularly the second one.
I think in the beginning as a new blogger figures out their niche and what people respond to changing the design of their blog may make sense. I think that new and interesting content is what will keep readers coming back. Love your shoes btw!
Great post Sheela, I learned a lot here too. I love your bag and really enjoyed watching your videos.
Oh, I realised, that blogs obviously follow design trends, but not as clearly as you wrote here 🙂 It is always enlightning to have a talk with a pro 🙂 Your look with the vest and the patterned pant is very cool!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
I think a blog attracts me if it looks sleek, but not TOO sleek…I get turned off by perfection.
Perfection is not something I can relate to, or want to be able to relate to.
I am a bit rough around the edges and I like to follow people who are human and seem real.
So, there is a balance to be found.
Oh rats… I am sort of in the process of a blog redesign but I am not creative enough to know what I want. My blog will die from boredom…. Sign, tear.